When one thinks of Disney Parks, they hardly tend to associate them with all things dark, mysterious, supernatural, and terrifying, but to say that they’re strangers to the world of horror – even in its most universal form – would be a lie. After all, what would a Disney Park be without the likes of The Haunted Mansion, an experience that isn’t exactly lacking in the undead department?
Since Disney purchased Fox, they now have some not-so-universal IPs under their belt, which include the likes of Alien, Predator, and the more adaptable Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show was a worldwide phenomenon when it was conjured up in 1997 and gave us seven seasons and five of its spinoff show Angel before finally being laid to rest.
But if Disney intends to resurrect Buffy, is it possible we’ll also see her appear in a Disney Park? Does everyone’s favorite vampire slayer even have a place in such settings? Well, either way, it’s something we’d be dying to sink our teeth into, so let’s take a look at how this could work…
4. Sunnydale High
While it would be awesome to see, Buffy the Vampire Slayer simply isn’t big or relevant enough – at least not currently – to warrant its own themed land. But that doesn’t mean it can’t enjoy its own ‘hub,’ and there’s no better building to model one off of than Sunnydale High, the home of the Hellmouth during the first three – and final – seasons of the show. But it wouldn’t just be any old high school, of course, as tormented souls and creatures of the dark would haunt these halls.
Sunnydale High could also be used to house Buffy-themed attractions, so it would include a walk-through or queuing system, during which you’d be able to experience iconic moments from the show (which would hopefully be revisited in a reboot), whether it’s Sunnydale High during its heyday or a post-apocalyptic and battle-scarred version. Either way, vampires would stalk its long corridors, so be careful when taking a selfie, as these fiends don’t have a reflection!
3. Attractions & Entertainment
We can’t talk about bringing Buffy back to life without considering possible attractions. And the first that comes to mind is a track-based, Haunted Mansion-Esque ride through Sunnydale High that features vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, and all other kinds of monsters that emerged from the Hellmouth over the years. With that said, removing the word ‘Hell’ would probably be paramount to adapting the IP into Disney Parks.
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, is also well-known for its stunt work. In fact, so much so that it became a bit of an ongoing joke during the show’s run, in that spotting the stunt doubles is far easier than it should be. Nevertheless, a stunt-themed show not unlike Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, perhaps in Sunnydale High’s gymnasium or assembly hall, would also be a great way to make Guests feel like they’re really part of the action.
When it comes to characters, the most memorable ones from the show would be a wise choice. Buffy and the original ‘Scoobies’ – that’s the tea-sipping Librarian Giles and two best friends, nerd-turned-witch Willow and reliable comic Xander. Then there’s the sharp-tongued cheerleader Cordelia, stoic werewolf Oz, bad-boy vampire Spike, and hunky vampire-with-a-soul Angel. It’s a neat set of characters, each with their own style and hugely marketable in their own right.
Keeping things simple is the key – at least to start off with. Not only that, but these are pretty easy characters to pull off in a theme Park, although the vampire versions of Angel and Spike might need watering down as we’re not sure children would find the demonic-look warm and fuzzy. Otherwise, there’s no doubt that actors could easily fill these boots. However, it goes without saying that Spike and Angel would only be available indoors during the day!
1. Merchandise & Themed Food
Oh, the fun we could have thinking of names for all the Buffy-themed food. Vampire bites, stake n’ fries, hot hell-dogs. And the beverages? How about blood-orange cocktails, Buffy’s fruit punch, Cordelia chasers, and Buffyiccinos? Names of eateries? Sunnydale Shack, Vampire Den, Coffin Corner, Buffy’s Bakery, Spike’s Sweet Treats, Librarian’s Lounge, Willow’s Cauldron. The possibilities are endless.
And then there’s the merchandise. But where to start? Well, beyond the obvious – a vampire-slaying kit, action figures, dolls, sticker books, and so on – let’s not forget that Buffy was a fashion icon in her time. Chic fashionwear and accessories at ‘The Magic Shop’? A ‘vampire patrolling kit’ – a stake and a trendy winter hat with scarf and gloves to match? You know, all the warrior-type attire. Buffy might be no Disney Princess, but she sure knows how to look glamorous during her patrols!
Should Disney decide to resurrect this IP, it’s more than likely we’ll first see it rebooted on Disney+. But should Buffy the Vampire Slayer prove successful once again, is it possible that the Chosen One and her Scooby Gang will find their way into the Disney Parks? Only time will tell. But we can’t imagine Disney letting this lucrative property turn to dust.